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Policy Analysis and Implementation Evaluation (I). Introduction. Public administration is an activist part of government, the means via which government intervenes in the social, economic, and financial lives of the government. And, this intervention is done via public policy.

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introduction
Introduction
  • Public administration is an activist part of government, the means via which government intervenes in the social, economic, and financial lives of the government. And, this intervention is done via public policy.
  • Public policy is a course of action taken by government entities to address a particular issue(s). Objectives, target population, and means are embedded in that policy statement.
  • Public administrators are the primary actors involved in the implementation of public policy. And, if the results of any public policy are not successful, then where could be the problem….in policy, implementation or both? This is called Policy Analysis and Implementation Evaluation.
  • Policy Analysis can be prospective or retrospective.
  • The traditional managerial, political and legal perspectives can be helpful in evaluating public policy.
the growing concern with policy analysis
The Growing Concern with Policy Analysis
  • In the whole public policy formulation process, implementation is considered as Achilles heel. Objective understanding of any public policy is not possible.
  • As public administration provides more services to people, it also engages in more extensive regulatory activities.
  • Public administrative intervention in the economy, society and polity makes policy analysis more salient. The modern techniques of social sciences have solved this problem.
the growing concern with policy analysis1
The Growing Concern with Policy Analysis
  • Retrospective policy can be strengthened by a number of related administrative developments, which can include allocating budget for policy analysis after implementation or by allowing public access to information, developing program budgeting or by placing sunset clause.
  • The outgrowth of policy formulation is the policy output which are made by public administrators (violation of politics-administration dichotomy). Policy impacts by contrast are concerned with performance or the achievement of stated objectives and the answer to this concern is elusive.
impact analysis
Impact Analysis
  • Before the impact of policy can be ascertained, it is essential to identify the contents of that policy in operational terms, which is not always easy or possible.
  • In principle, impact of all such policies can be evaluated but in practice, it becomes difficult to separate the impact of the policy from other factors.
  • Impact analysis can be defined as “being concerned with examining the extent to which a policy cause change in the intended direction”.
limited opportunities of experimentation
Limited Opportunities of Experimentation
  • One way to try to asses the impact of policy is via applying to one segment but not to the other composed of similar individuals. It is known as “experimental design”.
  • Introducing control group can be very useful to ascertain causality in experimental analysis but there are hindrances in carrying it out in public administration.
  • Problem of causality can also arise in preprogram-postprogram analysis, it can be overcome by establishing “rate of change”.
limited opportunities of experimentation1
Limited Opportunities of Experimentation
  • True experimental designs are not possible in public administration so quasi- experimental design could be a good alternative.
  • Interpretation of results should be very cautious. Strong policy analysis must also consider long run.
  • Policy analysis is still useful even if it does not create an impact.
process analysis and implementation studies
Process Analysis and Implementation Studies
  • Policy analysis should not focus only on impacts; it can also be used to assess the process through which a policy is being implemented.
  • Policy analysis concerns the way in which a particular policy or a program is implemented because implementation really affects the entire policy.
  • Methods of implementation studies include case studies, historical analysis, observation and extensive interviewing.
process analysis and implementation studies1
Process Analysis and Implementation Studies
  • Factors affecting implementation identified via studies include decision points, financial crunch, ambiguous objectives, lack or no competent staff, resistance to status quo or too much political interference.
  • Implementation studies suggest that process analysis should be a step before impact analysis but usually this does not happen.